Water quality is necessary in understanding the health of a river. Tests measure Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Chlorophyll, and Water clarity. Both Nitrogen and Phosphorus are elements that are considered nutrients from all types of runoff. In excessive amounts they can cause algal blooms and affect water clarity. Chlorophyll is a pigment found in plants and algae, and is used to detect suspended phytoplankton (leads to algal blooms). Water clarity tests for suspended sediment and to observe how much sunlight can reach lower lying levels of the river. Pollution can result from both agricultural land, as well as urban, in forms of storm water, runoff, and waste.
Wicomico Creekwatchers: Every year Wicomico Creekwatchers conduct a water quality report of the Wicomico. Citizen volunteers go out and collect water from 21 sites every week from March to November. These samples are analyzed by Salisbury University students. The water is tested and compared with data from previous years in order to observe seasonal / yearly changes in water quality.